COVID-19 vaccine information hub
As Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out ramps up, SHPA’s COVID-19 vaccine information hub features timely hospital pharmacy education and clinical guidance, federal, state and territory government and international resources, and all other relevant information as it comes to hand.
- COVID-19 vaccine member forum
- Listen: Conversation with Cleveland Clinic on US vaccine logistics
- Australian Government COVID-19 vaccine information and resources
- State and Territory Government COVID-19 vaccine information
SHPA's new member-only discussion forum aims to support Australia’s hospital pharmacists in their central role in the safe and secure administration of COVID-19 vaccinations. The forum enables members to join conversations, seek vaccine-related insights and information and access the latest shared resources.
Please note: Access to the vaccine forum is through self-enrolment only.
On 15 January 2021, SHPA member Duncan McKenzie joined his Royal Hobart Hospital colleague Sandra Roberts and hospital pharmacy colleagues Kaitlyn Rivard and Allison Riffle from the Cleveland Clinic in the United States to discuss their approaches to the end-to-end management of Pfizer and Moderna products.
From the complexities of cold supply chains and planning for deliveries to the importance of dry runs and makeshift ‘pizza boxes’, Kaitlyn and Allison share their experiences ensuring the secure and safe administration of COVID-19 vaccines by Cleveland Clinic staff as Australian hospital pharmacists prepare for their crucial roles at Vaccination Hubs around the country.
The Australian Government will provide regular updates and communication materials in the form of stakeholder kits as more information becomes available. Subscribe to their COVID-19 vaccines updates here.
The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) has sought expressions of interest (EOI) from accredited general practices to take part in the planned delivery of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1b.
More than 4,600 practices that expressed interest in participating in the vaccine roll-out have been approved. The DoH, via Primary Health Networks, has now begun advising those approved practices.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that Australia has received another shipment of Pfizer vaccine doses, bringing the total to 443,000 in addition to the 300,000 AstraZeneca doses. This means Australia has so far received a total of 733,000 doses from overseas.
'In terms of the distribution to the states, I am very pleased to be able to announce that over the current ten-day period, we will make almost 300,000 doses available to the states and that will be the two distributions of Pfizer and one of AstraZeneca.'
Minister Hunt said the number of doses distributed to the states [and territories] would be as follows: NSW: 86,000; Vic: 76,000; Qld: ~60,000; WA: 30,000; SA: 29,000; Tas: just > 9,000; NT: 3,700; and ACT: 5,100.
'As we speak, as of last night [Monday 1 March], there had been 41,907 doses administered around the country. That included 13,348 Commonwealth aged care residents at 158 facilities.'
More than one million Australian-produced doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are ready to be released by the end of the month. Melbourne-based company CSL is manufacturing the vaccine and said its current March timeline was well ahead of schedule.
The first Australian Government-funded training modules for the COVID-19 vaccination workforce, including for immunisation providers and non-clinical and administration staff, is now available.
The Australian Government has partnered with the Australian College of Nursing to develop and deliver the free and accredited training modules for all COVID-19 vaccination providers. The training is being provided free to all authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers.
Per Australian Government advice to SHPA, hospital pharmacists assisting immunisation professionals with supply chain logistics, storage, dose preparation and labelling, will need to access all six core modules.
To access the modules:
- Hospital pharmacists
→ select User type: As an Immunising Professional with an AHPRA number
→ select User type: As an Immunising Professional without an AHPRA number
SHPA is aware that the registration page then asks users to select which immunisation course they have undertaken, however choosing the N/A option will allow you to register with the training modules.
Other updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine program
- The Australian Government Department of Health is in the final stages of the selection process for General Practices that will take part in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
- The Australian Government has developed a stakeholder pack for multicultural audiences with information on COVID-19 vaccines.
This pack contains in-language communication resources and key messages to inform and educate everyone in Australia about COVID-19 vaccines.
Click on the links in the stakeholder pack to access translated COVID-19 vaccines information. Resources include audio files, videos, social media content, posters and factsheets that you can download and share with your patient community.
- Majority of Australians will be vaccinated with the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, with CSL’s Melbourne manufacturing facility having capacity to produce enough for Australia.
- Vaccinations remain on track for distribution to priority groups (Phase 1A) by late February, despite ongoing concerns regarding vaccine export controls from Europe.
- The aim is for every Australian to have the opportunity to be vaccinated by October.
- $1.9 billion of new support for the vaccine rollout on top of $4.4 billion for vaccine purchasing adding up to a total of $6.3 billion.
- Hospitals, GPs, Pharmacies, Respiratory Clinics, Aboriginal Health Services and a specialist surge workforce are being involved in ensuring all Australians can be vaccinated.
- The TGA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine made Australia among the few countries in the world to provide formal approval of the vaccine and not just for emergency use.
- COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Pharmacy participation in Phase 2A (from May 2021) – EOIs from community pharmacies is open.
Resources for health professionals
- COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (11 December 2020)
- Australia's vaccine agreements
- COVID-19 Vaccines National Rollout Strategy (14 January 2021)
- COVID-19 vaccines website
- Webinars for health practitioners
- First COVID-19 Vaccine – Pfizer – Training Program (8 February 2021)
- TGA's COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring plan (9 February 2021)
- COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy (10 February 2021)
- Videos – addressing topics including vaccine priority rollout, how vaccines work, the TGA approval process, vaccines development times
- Posters – how to stay informed
- Social media – vaccine rolling basis, vaccines free, vaccine protect, stay up-to-date, TGA approval process
- COVID-19 translated resources
State and Territory Government COVID-19 vaccine information
NSW State Government
NSW Health is working closely with Australian Government agencies to plan and implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in NSW. A COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available in Australia from late February 2021 after the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people 16 years and older. The vaccine rollout will be led and implemented by the Australian Government. See the COVID-19 Vaccination in NSW: Fact Sheet for NSW Healthcare Workers →
In the first few months of the vaccination program, it is expected that there will be limited doses of the vaccine available in Australia. In Phase 1a, the priority groups will be offered the vaccines at designated vaccination hubs in the first instance. In NSW, these hubs will be located at specific sites with the required storage, vaccine handling and administration capacity. In Phase 1a, NSW Health is planning for vaccination hubs located at RPA, Westmead and Liverpool hospitals, followed by Hornsby, St George, Nepean, Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga hospitals.
Northern Territory Government
The Northern Territory and Australian Governments are working closely together with our Aboriginal and community health partners to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible Territorians. See the NT Govt website →
The Queensland Government is in charge of delivering the vaccine across Queensland and has a plan to deliver them to Queenslanders, working alongside the Australian Government. The vaccine will be rolled out in stages, over a 6 to 12-month period. We expect the rollout of the vaccine to begin in late February for the highest priority groups. See the Qld Govt website →
Government of South Australia SA Health
Making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to all South Australians is a key priority for SA Health throughout 2021. SA Health is working closely with the Commonwealth Australian Government Department of Health to develop an implementation plan for South Australia in line with the Vaccine Roadmap announced by the Federal Government. See the SA Govt website →
The Tasmanian Government is working closely with the Australian Government to plan and implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in Tasmania. See the Tas Govt website →
- A Tasmanian Vaccination Emergency Operations Centre (TVEOC) has been activated to manage the rollout.
- EOIs for Registered Nurses interested in joining Tasmania’s COVID-19 vaccination has opened.
- The Tasmanian Government will soon be contacting pharmacists in Tasmania seeking expressions of interest from them to be involved in the vaccination rollout program*.
* This may no longer be required given national EOI has opened.
Victoria State Government – Health and Human Services
Work is underway to ensure the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is available to everyone who wants to get vaccinated, when it becomes available. See the Vic Govt website →
Victoria's Department of Health has given regulatory approval for pharmacist immunisers to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Victoria. Pharmacists in Victoria who have completed immuniser training, hold current first aid and CPR certificates – and have completed the Commonwealth COVID-19 Vaccination training, as well as any other required training – may be able to administer the vaccine. The Health Secretary also made a public health emergency order allowing registered non-immuniser pharmacists, intern pharmacists, and fourth-year pharmacy students to undertake ‘authorised vaccination activities’ in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, for example, drawing up of the vaccine and labelling in preparation for the actual administration to a patient.
The Victorian State Government has announced that the first Victorians to receive the coronavirus vaccine will be able to do so at the following nine hubs at public hospitals in Melbourne and regional Victoria: Albury-Wodonga Health, Austin Health, Ballarat Health, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, Goulburn Valley Health, Latrobe Health, Monash Health and Western Health. The first stage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rollout will cover quarantine and border workers, and all people working in Victoria's hotel quarantine scheme.
- SHPA is aware that the Victorian Government is in the process of establishing vaccination clinics, and is preparing for a workforce surge for the vaccination rollout. They are currently consulting health services on this, with the proposed workforce to include pharmacy technicians and final year pharmacy students.
- Again, from anecdotal info, some individual health services/hospitals are also seeking EOIs from nurses to be involved in their hospitals' COVID-19 vaccine program.
Government of Western Australia – Department of Health
The WA Department of Health is committed to implementing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program as soon as practicable. To prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in Western Australia, WA Health has established a COVID-19 vaccination program team to develop the implementation approach. The team comprises of a range of professionals with extensive experience in various aspects of establishing and implementing vaccination programs. The WA Department of Health will keep all Western Australians updated as the program progresses. See the WA govt COVID-19 vaccination webpage →
- Rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to begin in Australia on March 8, as it happened, ABC News, 28 February 2021
- Vaccine safe in pharmacists' 'very, very cold' hands, AJP, 22 February 2021
- Video: The first 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine has been delivered to th eRoyal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre, SA Health, 21 February 2021
- Overcoming the logistical nightmare behind the biggest vaccination program in history, The Age, 21 February 2021
- Video: The first doses of the Pfizer jab arrived in Melbourne this afternoon in a delicate operation against the clock to keep the vials at minus 70 degrees, 9News, 21 February 2021
- Video: Vaccination rollout to make 'significant impact' in virus fight, PM says, 9News, 19 February 2021
- Urgent laws to make COVID-19 vaccine rollout easier introduced in NT, The Gold Coast Bulletin, 16 February 2021
- TGA provisionally approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, The TGA, 16 February 2021
- Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses arrive in Australia ahead of rollout, ABC News, 15 February 2021
- TGA releases COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring plan, TGA, 9 February 2021
- South Africa to halt rollout of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, but experts say it's 'too early' to evaluate impact on Australia – ABC News, 9 February 2021
- Australia secures millions more doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine – ABC News, 9 February 2021
- Medical students slated to be at sharp end of vaccine program – The Age, 9 February 2021
- ACT budget 2021: Coronavirus vaccine funding to continue for at least four years – The Canberra Times, 9 February 2021
- Vax certificates to be fraud-proof – The Australian, 9 February 2021
- First COVID-19 Vaccine – Pfizer – Training Program – Media release, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, 8 February 2021
- Victoria announces nine COVID vaccine hubs at public hospitals across the state – ABC News, 3 February 2021
- Freezer farms and ‘pizza boxes’ as hospital pharmacists prepare for crucial vaccination roles – SHPA media release, 25 January 2021
- TGA provisionally approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – TGA, 25 January 2021
- Pharmacists encouraged to be at frontline – AJP, 25 January 2021
- Medical students slated to be at sharp end of vaccine program, The Age, 10 February 2021
- The Pharmacy Experience of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccinations in the UK
7.30pm AEDT, Tuesday 9 February 2021
- SHPA Webinar: Global challenges with COVID-19 vaccines
This live webinar features presenter Professor Danial Bausch, Director of the United Kingdom Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST), joining us live from Geneva, Switzerland.
7.00pm AEDT, Thursday 25 February